It's the first week in March and you know what that means… our latest blog post with SEO news is live! It’s safe to say there was a LOT going on, even in the SEO world. This time, I wanted to start with an SEO joke. You might laugh, but it depends….
Why do SEOs like monkeys? Long tails :-)
Although there were no major algorithm updates announced back in February, we noticed quite a few useful notes about Google ranking signals and more. Let's take a look at them!
Are domain name keywords ranking factors?
In this discussion on Reddit, John Mueller confirmed that keyword-based domains provide no SEO bonus and he also listed reasons why not to use keywords in your domain name.
Not all links are given the same weight
SEO Office Hours host John Mueller confirmed that Google doesn't give every link they find the full weight. He also highlighted that links with UTM parameters are not considered paid links.
FAQ schema markup issues
There could be three reasons why your FAQ schema markup isn't shown in search results. FAQ rich results will only display in Google Search if these three conditions are met:
- 1. FAQ schema markup is implemented correctly (use Marketing Miner or Search Console to identify any errors).
- 2. The markup has to comply with Google's structured data policies.
- 3. Google trusts the content on your site to display its rich results.
Google indexing issues and Core Web Vitals
Can Core Web Vitals scores impact Google indexing? No, not really. Having good Core Web Vitals scores won’t necessarily lead to indexing your web pages in search results.“The Core Web Vitals kind of plays into the Page Experience ranking factor — and that’s more of a ranking factor. That’s not a quality factor.” John Mueller says.
Listen to Mueller's full responses below:
Do unlinked brand mentions matter to Google?
John Mueller also confirmed that “unlinked” brand mentions are not a search engine optimization factor. However, they can be useful for helping users become aware of a site.
How AI powers great search results?
How does Google understand what we are looking for? Google shared a great behind-the-scenes look at how they use AI in search. In short, this article is not aimed to give you any SEO tips on how to optimize content for AI, but rather to understand more about how their major AI systems play together, how they evolved over time, what they do and how they are running in search today.
Google also published a short video on how BERT helps Google Search understand language. Thanks to the BERT update, Google better understands the intent behind users’ search queries and provides more relevant results.
“There's a big difference between knowing words and understanding meaning”
Google is still not the all-knowing
Google reaffirms 15% of searches are new and have never been searched before. Google processes over 3.5 billion searches per day worldwide which means there’s always a lot to do to present people with the best answers to their queries. But how do you find out what new searches people are doing on Google? Try the New Keywords section in our Keyword Profiler to find new searches that are related to your products or industry.
Google page experience update for desktop now rolling out
When you start noticing changes in your desktop search rankings, don't forget that the Page Experience algorithm update is now slowly rolling out to desktop search results as well. This is an extension of the algorithm update that launched in mobile search in summer 2021.
Bing News PubHub
Microsoft launched the Bing News PubHub as part of the Bing Webmaster Tools. Bing News PubHub is very similar to Google's Publisher Centre, where you say you are a publisher and share news content with Google news. Bing News uses four main criteria to help evaluate the news websites: newsworthiness, authority, originality, and readability.
Marketing Miner news
Do you want to learn more about the history of search engines and the most important ranking factors? Read our ultimate SEO guide with everything you need to know in 2022.
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